“In the last hours of earth’s history, you and I have to learn to thrive in uncertainty.”- Pastor Mark Finley
I remembered hearing his sermon 7 years ago about the blessing of uncertainty. And during this time of global crisis this sermon is very timely because we are in uncertain times. Seven years ago Pastor Mark said that we are approaching a time where there’ll be rapid financial changes in the world. It is happening now. The economy at present is uncertain even the weather is uncertain.
How can you be certain in an uncertain times? Is there a blessing in uncertainty? How can you be stable in unstable times? When everything around you is shaking, when everything around you is insecure, when everything is unpredictable and when you try to look into the future and you are uncertain of what is going to happen – how do you develop certainty and security in uncertain times?
We have to go back and read the Words of God – the Bible and go back to the history on how God delivered His people. In his sermon Pastor Finley mentioned the parallels between the Book of Isaiah and the Book of Revelation. He discussed Isaiah 6 and compared it with Revelation 18. In times of uncertainty we look to God’s throne.
Isaiah 6 verse 1 was mentioned because it started with the King Uzziah dead but Isaiah saw the Lord sitting on a throne. “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple.” – Isaiah 6:1 NKJV.
Let’s do a little bit of history. King Uzziah became a king at the age of 16. He ruled for 52 years and was an amazing king. Under his rule Israel entered into prosperity, commerce were revived, riches flowed into Israel, and cities were rebuilt that has been previously destroyed. But Israel began to lose its spiritual power. The worship services became cold and formal. People were spiritually apathetic and they were complacent and the priests were greedy and this greediness were combined with desire to make more money. When you look at the spiritual condition on the days of King Uzziah it was deteriorating. The spirituality was being eaten away.
Let’s talk about King Uzziah a little bit more. When Uzziah came to the end of his life he entered brazenly to the temple to offer a sacrifice. The priest attempted to stop him because no King was to offer sacrifice in the temple except the priest. But Uzziah brazenly and boldly pushed his way in. As he came into the temple, curse and judgement of God came upon him and he got leprosy. After 52 years of reign he developed leprosy and eventually died. What of the lesson that speak to us in the life of Uzziah is this – no matter how long somebody has been faithful to God that does not guarantee their faithfulness in the future. No matter how long somebody has been loyal to God that does not guarantee their loyalty in the future. No matter how somebody might have look so committed to God simply to look back and say “I’ve been a Christian for 40 years!”, that is not an automatic pass into heaven. Those 40 years cannot accrue spiritual merit. The life of King Uzziah speaks to us.
So King Uzziah died when he was 68 years old after the brazen act of rebellion walking into the temple. What is the significance of Isaiah chapter 6 verse 1? The Lord is sitting on the throne. King Uzziah might have died but the King of Kings reigns. At this time of national crisis with the king dying and enemy forces on their borders, when everything becomes uncertain for Israel and its people, Isaiah enters into the temple of God. The eye of Isaiah are lifted from earth to heavenly throne. The earthly throne might be empty but the Heavenly throne is not. King Uzziah might have died but the King of Kings still reigns, alive and powerful. The Kingdom of God on earth is in good hands, because the whole world is in His hands.
When there are times of uncertainty, we can be certain of this one thing – God is still in control. When uncertainty grips our lives, when instability is all around us, when the economy is about ready to go bust, when the weather patterns are bizarre, when political situations are tenuous, there is one thing that is certain – God is still up on His throne.
God in the Book of Isaiah 6 is pointing us to the Book of Revelation 4 because they are parallel, they are discussing the throne of God, that God is sitting on His throne unmoved. Isaiah’s time has its own uncertainties and so are we in this present time. As in the Book of Revelation – we have conflict on earth, economic uncertainty, political uncertainty, and instability all around. And God is saying just like I was with Isaiah, just like I was on my throne then, just like the holiness of God guided the destinies of affairs from the nations of this world so God is still in His throne at this present time and for always.
We can have confidence. We can have hope because God reigns upon His throne. In the midst of the uncertainty of this world God is never caught by surprise. In the uncertainty of our lives whatever it might be, in spite of the uncertainties, Jesus still reigns upon His throne. We may be out of control at times, there may be things happening in our lives that are totally out of control, but God is still in control. In Christ we are more than conquerors.
“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, not things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is is Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:37-39 NKJV
The blessing of uncertainty therefore is, we rely on Jesus more. And by relying on Jesus, communicating with Him, getting to know Him more, we look to God’s throne. By looking at God’s throne we receive the anointing of the Holy Spirit. We sense that the God who is on His throne will pour out His Spirit on us “unworthy human beings” and empower us to share His last day message throughout the ends of the earth and once again the earth will be filled with the Glory of God. When we enter into the very presence of God and kneel before him in prayers, we sense the holiness of God. And kneeling before God, something amazing happens, we are forgiven of our sins. God transforms us. God pardons us and changes us for a purpose.
For everyone who sees Jesus on the throne, for everyone who is redeemed by the grace of God, for everyone who is changed by the power of God – there is a mission. In times of uncertainty we have a mission to accomplish – we have to do our ministry. We have to spread Christ’s good news of salvation in any way we can. We can do all things through Jesus Christ who gives us strength. This is the blessing.